Read: Luke 9:51-62
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain contains an interesting, albeit humorous, description of Tom receiving a gift. “Mary gave him a bran-new "Barlow" knife worth twelve and a half cents; and the convulsion of delight that swept his system shook him to his foundations. True, the knife would not cut anything, but it was a "sure-enough" Barlow, and there was inconceivable grandeur in that.” This came to mind in thinking about James and John strutting with their chests puffed because of the power they had experienced from the Holy Spirit. Much like young boys with a knife in their pockets, they were certain it was a great power of inconceivable grandeur, but they never stopped to consider Who was doing the wielding. Were they to wield the Power or was the Power to wield them?
Christ was clear in His admonishment, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” They had forgotten the purpose for power they'd been given. Too often, it seems, I do the same and forget that Christ came to set a captive world free. Too often my expectations are for those who are slaves to sin, to act like they aren’t. Too often I attempt to disciple those who are still in captivity. Too often I am quick to take offense. Too often I am ready to wield the sword of the spirit against the victims rather than the enemy. Father, forgive me. Keep me mindful that I am not warring against flesh and blood. Help me to love those that I consider unlovely. Give me Your eyes and Your heart as I carry Your message to set captives free. Amen.
Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship.
Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.
Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness.
Supplication: Petition God for spiritual insight and understanding of His Word. Ask Him to help you know what is His direction and purpose for your life. Intercede for other believers, personal friends, those in ministry and those who are oppressed and in need. Offer prayers for your activities for this day and any special concerns you might have.